November 21, 2017

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Love and Other Train Wrecks by Leah Konen | SLJ Review

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redstarKONEN, Leah. Love and Other Train Wrecks. 368p. HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Bks. Jan. 2018. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062402509.

Gr 9 Up –Passengers on a train, Ammy and Noah, are heading to different places but end up sitting next to each other. After getting acquainted, the train comes to a halt due to electrical problems. Noah, who is on his way to make amends with his girlfriend, and Ammy, who is going to her dad’s wedding, both decide to leave the train to take the bus. The adventure begins when the last bus leaves the station as they approach in an unforgiving snowstorm. During their misadventures, the pair finds out that they have more in common than they hoped for. The novel moves at a satisfying pace and readers will want to know what happens between Ammy and Noah—especially after they find out what they share. The characters are likable and honest and will resonate with teens. Told in alternating perspectives, the narrative gives readers an in-depth understanding of the characters’ motivations. Each chapter is time-stamped; this element adds a special touch to the plot’s pacing. Those who enjoy romance and a story with a twist will approve. Sexual situations that are organic to the plot are off the page, but this is still a better choice for older readers. VERDICT Librarians will not be able to keep this compelling novel on the shelf.–Karen Alexander, Lake Fenton High School, Linden, MI

This review was published in the School Library Journal November 2017 issue.

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